Founded by Ifeanyi Oganwu in 2008 and incorporated in 2009, Expand Design Ltd is a London-based studio engaging in architecture and furniture design by investigating the correlation between history, base materials and opportunities presented by state-of-the-art fabrication techniques. Through our projects, we unearth unidentified typologies that are inspired by the past, grounded in the present, and on a journey to a new aesthetic domain.
In collaboration with Galerie Armel Soyer, textile design firm Toghal, and visual artist Phoebe Boswell.
A series of special objects for the 2016 Edition of 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, held at Somerset House, London.
The installation developed specific spatial devices to amplify the porosity between the exterior and interior of the main lounge. The external terraces were transformed into soft rooms from which to take in sights and sounds of London. Meanwhile, the lounge was defined by waveforms of various scales. In the bookshop, new works are adapted to explore both the circularity and vertical axis of the room; overall the dynamic presentations encouraged flexible use of the spaces.
Pedestal + Duniake, Moulded Birch Ply, Cotton with Digital Print, Linen, Foam, 2016 475 x 384 x 400 mm / 18.70 x 15.12 x 15.75 in Edition of 200
In this new collaboration fusing art and design, tradition and modernity, the Duniake fabric of female bodies is inspired by the everyday language of the Kenyan khanga and was created by Phoebe Boswell, whose work combines the digital and exquisite draftswomanship in her personal exploration of ‘home’.
The Pedestal assembly elevates the presentation of the artist designed fabrics while disappearing into the background - this is achieved through the vocabulary of arches, which are ubiquitous in urban landscapes. The pair of cylindrical bolsters suggest an innovative approach to seating whilst appearing to be displaced or broken off from a larger assembly.
The Pedestal reduces the stool typology to its essential form, combining moulded plywood shells supported by a pair of vertical walls and an inclined brace that is partially visible on the side elevation.
Pedestool, Laminated Birch Ply, 2016 475 x 384 x 400 mm / 18.70 x 15.12 x 15.75 in Edition of 10
Autonomous Rex – a speculative architectural project from 2006 which envisions a radical extension to Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House, is included in Vitra Design Museum's travelling survey of the Bauhaus.
The exhibition titled The Bauhaus #itsalldesign is curated by Jolanthe Kugler and offers a contemporary reading of the historical institution.
Shwisty, Mild Steel, 2015 760 x 1510 x 2740 mm / 29.92 x 59.45 x 107.87 in 910 x 1830 x 2740 mm / 35.83 x 72.05 x 107.87 in (Including net)
Shwisty is a participatory surface designed for public use and engineered for both indoor and outdoor settings, part of a series in which compact functional planar surfaces are derived from folded continuous loops. Its multipurpose nature lends the table to work, play and relaxation depending on the number of users at a given time.
The design is formed of planar sheet steel constructs – 5mm in thickness, which create dichromatic structural supports and playing surfaces. Diachromatism is introduced as topological markers to describe the trajectory and structural interdependence within each group of planar surfaces, resulting in the combination of pattern and function. An approach inspired by a range of sources notably Hank Willis Thomas’s photograph Crossroads as well as Peter Doig’s painting Ping Pong.
The construction incorporates manufacturing technologies and processes available in Shenzhen with a view towards deploying the work in other cities – one per continent. In addition to adapting design to each site of installation, local fabrication expertise will be utilized as a means to produce a range of unique results within the series. In this instance, the constituent parts are cut offsite with assembly and finishing carried out onsite.
Commissioned on the occasion of the 2015 Bi-City Biennale in Shenzhen, and deployed at Maker Maker in order to create an active surface where play and relaxation are not only encouraged; they coexist within the site of an exhibition.
Mateo Kries and Jolanthe Kugler, the catalogue includes contributions by Lord
Foster, Jasper Morrison, Joseph Grima, with essays by Arthur Rüegg and Jan
Boelen, among others. Autonomous Rex, 2006